The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it has opened an investigation into embattled Republican Rep. Jorge Santos of New York, whose lies about his background and questions about his campaign finances have come under scrutiny.
Mr. The investigation will cover several areas where Santos is accused of financial or sexual abuse. Mr. The committee said in a statement it is seeking to determine whether Santos failed to properly disclose information about his House financial disclosures, violated federal usury laws or engaged in other illegal activities during his 2022 congressional campaign. Mr. It will also examine allegations of sexual misconduct from a future congressional aide who briefly worked in Santos’ office.
Representing the areas of Long Island and Queens, Mr. Santos, He said on Twitter He would not comment further, saying he was “fully cooperating” with the investigation.
On Tuesday, the 10-member body, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, named Mr. The move began when the panel’s top Republican and Democratic members voted unanimously to create an investigative subcommittee to investigate Santos, according to a statement released Thursday.
The subcommittee will consist of four members — two Democrats and two Republicans — and will be chaired by Rep. David Joyce, Republican of Ohio.
Two Democratic lawmakers from New York first requested an ethics investigation in January, and Mr. Many of Santos’ Republican colleagues have voiced support for the move.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Congress that Mr. greatly influenced the fate of Santos.
Mr. Some of Santos’ House Republican colleagues, as well as local Republican officials in New York, criticized Mr. Despite urging Santos to step aside, Mr. McCarthy has said he won’t pressure the first-term representative. But he vowed the council would “take action” if the ethics committee found reason to do so.
Mr. Mr. Santos on McCarthy’s position appears to have hardened in recent weeks.
Some Republicans say Mr. Although Mr. Santos said he did not want to work with him when he faced investigations, Mr. McCarthy and Republican leaders initially assigned him to two committees. Then, Mr. Mr. McCarthy argued that Santos was duly elected and should not be punished.
But Mr. Santos later removed himself from the committees at the direction of House leadership.
“We don’t allow him to be in groups,” said Mr. McCarthy said last month that he and Mr. Santos also said “we had a conversation and we decided it was best at this time.”
The timeline for the Ethics Committee’s hearing is unclear. Critics often argue that the body moves too slowly, with representatives generally preferring to see other lawmakers resign or reach the end of their terms rather than punishing their colleagues.
Mr. If the committee finds Santos violated ethics, it has several disciplinary options, including imposing fines or recommending House pass resolutions to mitigate or censure him. In extreme cases, the committee may recommend that a member be expelled from the House, but such action is rare and requires a two-thirds majority vote.